The episode opens with the family attempting to give Santa's Little Helper a pill, but he refuses to take it. They then move into the living room, but they quickly become distracted by a throng of news vans rolling down the street, including a Fox News van, blaring Queen's "We Are the Champions" with a large "Bush-Cheney 2004" banner. On television Kent Brockman explains that Mayor Quimby has had 27 different paternity suits filed against him, with the mayor eventually placating most of the reporters with a cute puppy.
But one reporter is not distracted: Marge's old high school friend Chloe Talbot, herself from Springfield, who continues to ask Quimby tough questions and lambasting her male coworkers.
Marge sees her friend on TV and is jealous of her success, and later they meet on the street. An embarrassed Marge confesses she never left Springfield, but the two are genuinely glad to see each other again. Chloe comes to the Simpsons' house for dinner; however, her exciting stories — taking place all over the world and involving famous people — annoy Marge and inspire Lisa, who goes out to dinner with Chloe.
In a flashback, we learn the story of Marge and Chloe's friendship: both were reporters for their high school newspaper, but after high school Marge stayed with her sweetheart Homer after Bart was born, with Chloe leaving her sweetheart Barney when he proposed. With all of Chloe's success, Marge seems to begin to resent both her decision and her family, but receives supporting words from Homer.
On their way back from dinner, Chloe invites Lisa to the United Nations women's conference, with Lisa saying she would need parental permission. Upon arriving at the Simpsons house, they are met at the door by a drunk Marge, who is worried that Lisa likes Chloe more, at their late return. Marge provokes Chloe, who threatens to use "some moves I learned from G. Gordon Liddy!" with Marge screaming back "I'm so sick of names!" before the two engage in a fight on the lawn. This leaves Marge with a black eye which on which she uses 'Shiner-Be-Gone Irish Strength' to treat (along with the chorus of 'Tooraloora', from the Bing Crosby picture Going My Way).
After Marge talks with Lisa about what happened, she forbids Lisa to see the women's conference. She decides to sneak out to attend the conference with Chloe, receiving a little help from Bart. She hides in the car's trunk, but as Chloe drives off she receives a call from her boss, telling her to instead cover the story of the eruption of Springfield Volcano. Lisa pops out of the trunk, but instead of attending a women's conference, she replaces Chloe's cameraman, who ran away at the first sight of lava.
Marge and Homer go to the actual women's conference in search of Lisa, but there see Chloe's live broadcast from the volcano, crediting Lisa behind the camera. Things at the volcano are looking grim, with Chloe and Lisa awaiting a fiery death. "So much sulfur dioxide!" Lisa screams for help across a stream of lava. Marge races to the rescue as she leaps from rock to rock across a sea of lava to rescue Lisa; moments later, Barney descends in a helicopter to rescue Chloe, who grants him a half hour of pity sex.
The episode closes with Marge imagining what she could have done with her life...she is in front an ice rink, reporting that "the Miracle on Ice" never happened. "Nooo!" she screams in real life, to a shrugging family.
As the credits roll, we flash back to Lisa hiding from the volcano in Chloe's trunk. "What are you doing in there?" Chloe asks. Lisa responds "Praying to Buddha... Jesus... SpongeBob... there's no time to be picky!" In Heaven, the three figures debate whether or not to help, with SpongeBob concluding "Screw her!" and laughing maniacally.